Mamie Howard on being an out-of-state student, LuteNation and PLU

Lute Nation 1My name is Mamie J. Howard.

I am from the sunny city of San Diego, California. Uprooting myself from the only hometown I have ever known and moving to a place I hadn’t even visited until it was time for my first classes to begin was very difficult for me to do. However, I do not regret my decision on bit. I always hear people say “you only live once” so I decided to do something spontaneous with my life and move to a different state to pursue my Bachelor’s. What I like most about PLU is that in my experience as an out of state student, the university did a wonderful job welcoming me to campus and checking in to make sure that I was doing o.k. making the change. I decided to major in Sociology with a double minor in Communications¬†and Political Science as an aspiring attorney because my options for a major to pursue law school were truly limitless. One day I would like to become a District Attorney and maybe someday even a judge, but I am really interested in the youth and helping the youth find a better path of life.

On campus I am heavily involved in the Diversity center and with Lute Nation. These two places have made me feel like PLU was a place for me to call home and keep me excited to return year after year. In the Diversity Center I am a Rieke Scholar which allows me to delve into social justice while also gaining the knowledge and tools on how to begin to change the world around me. I am also the President and Founder of the Lute Nation brand. Before I came to PLU as well as during my first-year, the University had a Step Club which was really exciting and quickly became my niche as a person new to the art for of step/stomp. Though at the end of my first-year I was given the title of Captain as the team and I really wanted to take the team to a new level. Lute Nation entails more than just stepping but rather a team that has become an inspiration to the youth in surrounding schools. When I cam to PLU, I decided I wanted to be someone that made a difference in people’s lives rather than just someone that watches the change happen and being a leader in Lute Nation has allowed me to do so. Our adviser, Melannie Cunningham (the admission counselor also responsible for my enrollment at PLU) and I make a wonderful team thinking of new ways to create change in the community and marketing Lute Nation members as Scholars before Steppers. It is a wonderful opportunity to be a part of a group that both has fun and does great things while doing so.

One of the biggest reasons I chose PLU was because of the scholarship I was offered because during these hard financial times, college isn’t as affordable as one would like to think (though my mother was adamant about sending me wherever I wanted to attend school). However, I also thought it would be great to get out of San Diego, meet new people, and start fresh. I really wanted a change of scenery and a change in weather. Lastly, Melannie did a wonderful job selling PLU to me by telling me what a prestigious degree I could earn if I dedicated four years to this school. If I had to choose all over again, I would never admit that I’d chose PLU (ha) however the experiences I have gained from attending PLU have began to define me as a person and shape my adult beliefs and I wouldn’t trade this transformation for anything because I know that I have made and will continue to make my family proud!